Our ideas about “progress” need an overhaul in the 21st century, with old ideas that have always been in place to be kicked to the proverbial curb. But, progress that keeps moving according to the signs of the times, and that changes approach when necessary is something we can still count on as making environmental, and financial, sense. As always, we need some innovative, and brave, examples of how this works. This is especially true when it comes to energy, and what the future will really look like in the face of depleting resources.
Here are some numbers as presented at the end of the 2000s that show how European nations were beginning to supplement their energy requirements at that time, moving them further and further away from dwindling global fossil fuel supplies. The movement in this direction continues today, with EU countries targeting green energy goals into the 2020s and beyond.
Take a look.
By the end of the 2000s, an international commitment to alternative energy resulted in some impressive numbers from the industrialized nations of Europe. This is notable just because even if lifestyles, culture, and language tend to differ to varying degrees, the economies between European nations and North America are certainly comparable.
Another notable trend shown here is that solar energy, and other forms of alternative energy are growth sectors. This means a fresh infusion of investment capital, and more jobs.
Perhaps a further trend to keep an eye on as our century progresses, and as economies like those in the EU become less and less dependent on fossil fuels, is the connection between sustainability and economic stability. I think the interdependence between economy and ecology will become more and more apparent to policy-makers all over the world, as the problems once thought to be unique to each actually turn out to be pretty common, along with the innovative solutions to address them.
The question will be whether or not that path is taken to pursue what will become more and more apparent.
For more information about alternative energy in Europe, check out the European Clean Energy Council.